GUWAHATI, May 23: India could take diplomatic action by scrapping the 42-year-old Indus Water Treaty, thereby choking the flow of water to Pakistan, Water Resources Minister Bijoya Chakroborty said on Thursday.

“If we decide to scrap the Indus Water Treaty, then there will be drought in Pakistan and the people of that country would have to beg for every drop of water,” Chakraborty said in Guwahati, the capital of Assam.

Any decision on whether or not to abrogate the 1960 treaty, which was signed at the behest of the World Bank, will have to be taken by Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and his cabinet.

“There is a meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission in New Delhi next week between both countries, but we are yet to decide whether to go ahead with the meeting or cancel it,” Chakroborty said.

The commission, comprising Pakistani and Indian officials, was set up to establish and maintain cooperation for implementing the treaty and for settling disputes on water sharing.

Under the Indus Water Treaty, three rivers — Sutlej, Beas and Ravi — were allocated to India and another three rivers — Indus, Jhelum and the Chenab — largely to Pakistan. However, India has also been permitted to use, to a limited extent, water of western rivers for agriculture and power generation.

Analysts said, however, that stopping the flow of water into Pakistan would take a long time.

“It is not as if we can turn off the tap in an hour. India cannot stop the waters without creating large reservoirs,” said Commodore Uday Bhaskar, deputy director of the Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis.

He said any tampering with the treaty would need to be carefully considered as it had survived two previous wars between the two countries.

Occupied Kashmir’s legislative assembly has passed a resolution warning the Indian government against “bartering” water to Pakistan, saying this was affecting agriculture in the region.

“We are exporting water to Pakistan and in return Pakistan is exporting cross-border terrorism,” a lawmaker was quoted as saying in the assembly recently.—AFP

Opinion

Editorial

Taliban anniversary
15 Aug, 2022

Taliban anniversary

A YEAR ago on this day, the Afghan Taliban rolled into Kabul as the Western-backed government fell like a house of...
Extreme measures
Updated 15 Aug, 2022

Extreme measures

Government has overreacted to a degree that has given ammunition to the PTI to accuse it of ‘fascism’.
A depraved society
15 Aug, 2022

A depraved society

IF the extent of sexual violence against women and children is any measure of a society’s moral degradation, then ...
Taking stock
Updated 14 Aug, 2022

Taking stock

There are numerous reasons behind our predicament, and many of our wounds are self-inflicted.
Medicine in short supply
14 Aug, 2022

Medicine in short supply

THAT rising import prices of pharmaceutical raw materials and increasing production costs of manufacturers have...
Police excesses
Updated 13 Aug, 2022

Police excesses

Crass thuggery and victimisation of ordinary citizens are unlikely to earn govt plaudits from any quarter.